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What could be causing problems with my swallowing?

There can be nothing more uncomfortable than to have issues swallowing or a have feeling like there is a “lump” in your throat.  This feeling is termed a “globus” sensation. There are multiple reasons why you could be experiencing this sensation and providing us with a detailed explanation of when and where can help us determine your treatment.

The medical term for “problem swallowing” is dysphagia.  If you feel like food is getting caught in your throat or chest, this can often be a symptom of a narrow esophagus.  Specialized radiological studies can help to determine if you have this and, if needed, our surgeons can perform a special procedure that can dilate the esophagus back to normal size.

Gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) is another reason why someone can also have a globus sensation.  When gastric acids travel back up into the throat, it can cause inflammation which can contribute to having that irritating feeling.  This condition is normally treated with anti-reflux medications designed to reduce the amount of acids your stomach produces.

Allergies and chronic post nasal drip can also cause throat irritation. When nasal drainage is in excess, it frequently travels down the back of a person’s throat and can cause a burning feeling and discomfort.  Post nasal drip is treated with antihistamines and certain nasal sprays.  Allergy testing and immunotherapy treatment can also be useful to improve this condition long term.

Other problems like throat cancer and thyroid issues can also cause a globus sensation which is a reason why we take swallowing problems seriously at ENT Specialists.

All of our providers are capable of performing a relatively simple in office procedure called a “Flex Laryngoscopy” to help determine the cause of your swallowing problem and can also order specialized testing if needed.  Flex laryngoscopy also can determine the cause of chronic hoarseness and voice issues.

We hope that you better understand why you should have your swallowing problem checked out soon and that getting you feeling better is our primary focus at ENT Specialists.

Josh Snearly, NP-C